U.S.-Canada Arctic ocean partnership leads to better

Posted: 12/28/2011 in all marine news

Hydro International –

A recent mission marked the completion of a five-year collaboration between the United States and Canada to survey the Arctic Ocean.

The bilateral project collected scientific data to delineate the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the coastline, also known as the extended continental shelf (ECS).

According to Deborah Hutchinson, Ph.D., geologist with the USGS and U.S. science lead and liaison on board CCG Ship Louis S. St-Laurent, the amount and quality of the data collected as part of these joint Arctic missions met and often exceeded the expectations set each year.

The U.S. has an inherent interest in knowing, and declaring to others, the exact extent of its sovereign rights in the ocean as set forth in the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

For the ECS, this includes sovereign rights over natural resources on and under the seabed including energy resources such as: oil and natural gas and gas hydrates; “sedentary” creatures such as clams, crabs, and corals; and mineral resources such as manganese nodules, ferromanganese crusts, and polymetallic sulfides.

The 2011 joint Arctic mission spanned nearly six weeks in August and September and was the fourth year to employ flagship icebreakers from both countries, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent.

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